News & Analysis as of

CMS Announces Enforcement of EHR Payment Adjustments in 2015

On December 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") announced that there would be reductions in Medicare reimbursement for health care providers who do not meet the CMS electronic health record...more

Healthcare Fraud: Aggressive Enforcement Strategies

This week I am focusing on the persistent problem of healthcare fraud. For healthcare providers, the challenge of compliance and avoiding enforcement risks is particularly difficult. ...more

OIG Examines Appropriateness of Medicare Ophthalmology Claims

The OIG recently assessed the appropriateness of claims submitted by providers for screening for, diagnosing, evaluating, or treating cataracts, wet age related macular degeneration (wet AMD), and glaucoma in 2012....more

Health Care Enforcement in 2015: A Look Back on 2014 and Forecasting the Year Ahead

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care in April 2011, the now-pending nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, stated in no uncertain terms that “fighting health...more

CMS Issues Final Rule on Reimbursement for Chronic Care Management Services

On November 13, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, including a new code and guidance for billing for chronic care management services (CCM),...more

Government Joins Lawsuit Against Florida Doctor Alleging Fraud and Kickbacks

In a move demonstrating the government’s continued aim to combat health care fraud through its Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), the Department of Justice announced today that the government has...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - December 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Package ..HRSA Cancels Plan for 340B ‘Mega Reg’; Congress Weighs Options ..Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to ACA...more

Two Months After Indictment, Medicare Fraud Mastermind and Doctor Plead Guilty

Mark Morad, the man who cooked up a $56 million Medicare fraud scheme, and his accomplice doctor pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Louisiana to various health care fraud charges....more

CMS Releases Final Rule That Increases Difficulty of Medicare Enrollment

In early December, CMS released a final rule that implements certain provider (i.e., Hospitals, SNFs, physicians, etc.) and supplier (i.e., DME companies, etc.) enrollment requirements (“Rule”). The goal of CMS’...more

Global Surgery and 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 21, 2014, I posted the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and described the intent by CMS to eliminate global surgery. On November 13, 2014, CMS issued the final 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and...more

Impact of Health Care Reform on Provider Liability

In this presentation: - The Changing Healthcare Landscape - Key Features of an ACO/CIN - ACO Standards and Quality Metrics - Examples of Quality Standards - Impact on Board and Corporate...more

CMS Publishes Additional (but Limited) Guidance on the Coverage with Evidence Development Process

On November 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published its latest round of guidance on its Coverage with Evidence Development (“CED”) policy for selected items and services under the Medicare...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

CMS Finalizes Proposal to Remove Continuing Medical Education Exclusion from Sunshine Act Regulations

On October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final Medicare physician fee schedule rule for CY 2015 (the Final Rule), which also includes certain changes to the Sunshine Regulations. ...more

CMS Announces CY 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rates

On October 30, 2014, CMS issued a final rule for Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates for CY 2015. The final rule estimates that Medicare payments to home health agencies (HHAs) in CY 2015 will be...more

CMS Releases the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (Medicare PFS) on October 31, 2014. The final rule updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished to...more

Do You Offer or Accept Copayment Coupons? OIG says YOU are Responsible for Compliance with Federal Law

In recent years, copayment coupon programs have become standard promotional practices for both large and small pharmaceutical manufacturers. Copayment coupons are typically offered to commercially insured patients in order...more

Health Law Alert: OIG Releases Proposed Revisions to Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a proposed rule that revises safe harbors under the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules regarding...more

OIG Announces Proposed AKS and CMP Regulations

On October 3, 2014, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a proposed rule codifying into regulation several statutory changes to the Antikickback Statute (“AKS”) and the Civil Monetary Penalty (“CMP”) Law. Nearly...more

Critical Access Hospital Soothsayers and the 96-Hour Physician Certification Requirement

This year critical access hospitals (CAH) have struggled to implement procedures to comply with both the "two-midnight" rule and the 96-hour physician certification requirement. The combination of both puts physicians in a...more

Whistleblower Goes It Alone to Secure $5 Million Settlement under False Claims Act

The potential success of a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act (FCA) is significantly reduced when the government fails to intervene because such cases are often assumed to lack merit. However, a plaintiff...more

Sometimes the Government is Here to Help: OIG Proposes More Flexibility in Rules Governing Local Transportation, Beneficiary...

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General ("OIG") just released a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) that provides long awaited guidance on patient transportation services, relaxes the...more

CMS Announces Launch of Open Payments Database: $3.5 Billion Paid to Physicians and Teaching Hospitals

The Open Payments database (the “Database”) is now live, and the first round of data is available to the public on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) website. This first round of data reflects “nearly 4.4...more

Department of Justice Files First False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Physician-Owned Distributorship

On Sept. 8, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a 98-page civil complaint alleging that investment returns, paid to a Michigan spinal surgeon and other physicians by a spinal implant company partially...more

Want To Complain About The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule? Take A Number.

Apparently Americans feel that way about Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service physician compensation schedule. Everybody complains about it, but nobody likes any proposed changes. That’s clear from the reaction to the...more

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